Treatment Goal: Adventures!
I sit here sipping iced tea after showering off a morning of digging in the garden. I will head out to bicycle to a potluck supper with friends in a little while. I've taken 2 puffs of my rescue inhaler and will probably take another 2 before the night draws to a close. In all likelihood I'll take evening controllers and sleep through the night. Wake up and take morning controller meds.
Tomorrow will likely bring more puffs of Ventolin and exercise. I don't sit tidily in an asthma control category. If you go by my present medication I have mild persistent asthma. I have previously used stronger medications to control my asthma. My doctors and I try to balance appropriate medications with my "real" life.
My daily asthma medication dosage aligns with my activites
At my most recent check ups with Primary Care and Asthma Doctors I asked what they thought of the idea of me doing more biking. Both gave me a go ahead. I would love to live in a world where I don't need daily medications. Were I less physically active perhaps this would be my reality. Giving up bicycling and gardening are not things I want to do in the name of better asthma control. Living a life where I can do these things easily and frequently is well worth the risks of a daily inhaled steroid to me. Do I perfectly fit the guidelines for well controlled asthma? Not really, I use more than the recommended amount of ventolin due to exercise. Neither I nor my care team are worried about this level of ventolin use. I've lost track of how many years its been since I last needed a burst of prednisone. I've *knock on wood* never been hospitalized.
Medication is to help us live a full life, as much as possible, right?
If this is what it takes for me to lead a largely "normal" life then I am completely satisfied with my asthma control and medication. Could I be better about trigger avoidance and use fewer medications? Absolutely! This would probably decrease my overall cardiovascular fitness and happiness with life. Presently my treatment goal is to be well enough to train for and Cycle the Eerie Canal next summer. Yes, my medication compliance is driven by my desire to bicycle. I find this much more motivating than taking my medications to avoid a flare, hospitalization, or other complications. The end result is the same, but a few hundred miles of bicycling sounds like a much more fun goal to me than some percent gain in symptom free days or FEV1. Are you trying to dial your medication for another long distance fitness/endurance outing? When I was first diagnosed with asthma my goal was to be able to walk up the hill to class or a few flights of stairs without a coughing fit. When we started allergy shots I was looking to be able to enjoy sitting outside on a blanket to read a book. Years of treatment and working out later my goals have changed and I couldn't be happier. How do your treatment goals align with your life?
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